The British government plans to enact emergency laws this week to ban public gatherings in an effort to curb the spread of the Coronavirus in an escalation of the crisis plan that critics say is too lax.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has so far resisted pressure to implement some stringent measures applied in other European countries to slow the spread of the virus.
However, on Friday, all English Premier League matches were suspended until April 4, while the organizers postponed other sporting events such as the London Marathon.
A government source said, “We have drafted emergency legislation to give the government the powers needed to deal with the Coronavirus, including the powers to prevent public gatherings and compensate regulators.”
He added, “We will publish this legislation this week.”
British media said that the ban on public gatherings may take effect from the beginning of this week, and may affect events including the Glastonbury Music Festival, the Wimbledon tennis championship, and horse racing known as the Grand National Race.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, at a news conference on the Coronavirus, said he had panicked comments, announcing anti-virus measures on Thursday, and moved to the so-called “delay phase” which includes taking tougher measures to slow the spread of the virus.
Johnson said, “We are now reaching the next stage … This is not just an attempt to contain the disease as much as possible but to delay its spread.”
On Friday, Britain announced that the number of coronavirus infections in Britain had risen to 798.